Artists from all walks of life are using Facebook to promote themselves and connect with fans. The vast majority of Facebook members use this social network in a personal way. They go here to see what their friends are up to, and share thoughts of their own. For many people, it is basically a place to be social. It is this personal nature of Facebook which makes this social network very effective for the promotion of art. Facebook pages are intended for businesses while the profile is meant for personal use. When an artist creates a Facebook page, they are mostly sharing art with personal Facebook users – people who like to look at and talk about art in leisure time.
We have been sharing the Facebook pages of artists, and asking them to share tips on how they use this social network for promoting art. This article features a multi-talented artist from Orlando, Florida - Valerie Thomas.
Valerie Thomas (Art by Valerie)
Valerie Thomas is a self- taught hyper realistic watercolor and acrylic artist, author and illustrator, therapeutic facilitator, and private teacher living in Orlando, Florida.
Art By Valerie is a self supporting art business which provides Valerie the ability to enjoy raising her 2 teenage boys and 5 stepchildren while creating meaningful works of art as commissions or series paintings.
She serves as a member of Crealde Art School, United Arts of Central Florida, Maitland Art … Florida Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, Central Florida Watercolor Society, The Geneva Historical Society, The Rural Heritage Center, The Geneva Homemakers Group, The Geneva Citizens Group and First Baptist Church of Geneva. Valerie loves team roping, mounted shooting and cowboy life. Her paintings reflect her love of cowboy life. She is aspiring to become more well known, sell more, and follow the bend in the road.
Please tell us about yourself.
I grew up in Western New York, and have lived in Montana, Michigan, and Texas. I have many facets. I care about affecting other people's lives. In addition to creating realistic works of art, I also work with the special needs population to promote healing with therapeutic art, interaction with horses and facilitation of high and low ROPES teambuilding activities to promote teamwork and communication for all types of populations.
I am creating illustrations and a website for a children’s book I authored helping kids understand what happens to their parents when they go through cancer. I am the only woman in the world who designs and builds trophy rooms dioramas to display mounted life-size animals, habitat, hand painted murals, and live running water so hunters can freeze their family memories in time. I am involved in countless local organizations to improve the community I live in. I spent a year as an Executive Director for a non-profit organization in my small town - helping to save a local historical schoolhouse from being demolished to provide the community with a place to hold a variety of educational, theatrical, musical, private art gallery, endless variety of enrichment lectures and community celebrations. I have personally fostered 26 foster children, six at a time over a five year period. I have two degrees in Psychology. I aspire to get a Doctorate degree in Art Therapy.
See my work at artbyvalerie.net.
How do you use Facebook for promoting your artworks?
I use Facebook, Art by Valerie Thomas, and my personal page, to promote and interact with others about art. I like to be always increasing my fan base. I am new at this, engaging my fans with not just what I am creating but other works of art - in addition to art information. I have sold several works of art by posting my recent paintings. I do not merely post them and bombard my fans with work or marketing messages, but try to engage fans with questions, illicit comments, ideas, and develop a relationship. I add commentary to add interest to my art process and the inspirations I have for creating art.
I love to post people's reactions to the paintings I create. I sell work when people can envision a painting they want of some memory or photo that is important to them. I use my website to show the stunning resemblance to their photo.
I am under construction of my site to create buttons to my Facebook, LinkedIn page and other social media sites I am linking. I plan to create an online store and link it to my site, hot buttons to YouTube, create a Twitter account and pin on Pinterest. I have learned a lot from Alyson B. Stanfield's book, I'd Rather Be In The Studio. I also received several comments about my website and Facebook page from groups and individuals on LinkedIn who provided valuable information to improve my web presence.
I am excited about 2013 and getting connected to build relationships with others who can help me grow as an artist and a business woman. I value this site and all the information I have soaked up like a sponge to improve my marketing efforts and grow as an artist.
Do I have advice for marketing art online?
Connect, connect, connect to every social site you can get on. Post your artwork in an online store, create a press packet on yourself and approach the media, and continue to learn how to manage your time, I set a timer to divide my time into computer and studio, so you can maintain online connections and posts, respond to others and still get in the studio to paint.
I am compiling my sites using one software so I can easily maintain. Free webinars are invaluable to continue your education of how to use social media for your needs. Create a blog and share everything you are learning with others.